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Palazzo Veneziano
Palazzo Veneziano

Fondamenta delle Zattere 1413, Venice 30123

4.5 out of 5.0
4.6 out of 5 (14 reviews)

Located in Dorsoduro, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Squero di San Trovaso and Academy Gallery. Peggy Guggenheim …

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Palazzetto Madonna
Palazzetto Madonna

San Polo, 2902, Venice 30125

4.0 out of 5.0
4.6 out of 5 (291 reviews)

Located in San Polo, this hotel is steps from Palazzo Barbarigo and St. Mary of the Friars. Rialto Bridge and Ca' Rezzonico …

£167
Hotel Montecarlo
Hotel Montecarlo

Calle Specchieri 463 San Marco, Venice 30124

3.0 out of 5.0
4.3 out of 5 (1,168 reviews)

This modernised 17th-century building in Venice, formerly a convent and a palazzo, is 50 metres from Piazza San Marco, 200 …

£135
Colombina Hotel
Colombina Hotel

Castello, Calle Del Remedio 4416, Venice 30122

4.0 out of 5.0
4.4 out of 5 (1,115 reviews)

Restored 17th palace Venice hotel set on the Rio di Palazzo canal, overlooking the Bridge of Sighs and 100 metres from St …

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Carnival Palace Hotel
Carnival Palace Hotel

Fondamenta di Cannaregio, 929, Venice 30121

4.5 out of 5.0
4.6 out of 5 (1,536 reviews)

Located in Cannaregio, this romantic hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Guglie Bridge, Rialto Bridge, and Ca' d'Oro. St. Mary o …

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B4 Bellini Venezia
B4 Bellini Venezia

Lista di Spagna, 116/A, Venice 30121

4.0 out of 5.0
4.1 out of 5 (1,438 reviews)

On the Grand Canal in the Cannaregio district, this Venice hotel is steps from Santa Lucia train station and vaporetto …

£136
Liassidi Palace Hotel
Liassidi Palace Hotel

Castello, Ponte dei Greci 3405, Venice 30122

4.0 out of 5.0
4.6 out of 5 (481 reviews)

Facing a narrow canal 300 meters (328 yards) from St Mark's Square crowds, this 15th-century Venice palazzo offers a tranquil …

£146
Hotel Giorgione
Hotel Giorgione

SS. Apostoli, 4587, Venice 30131

4.0 out of 5.0
4.3 out of 5 (1,265 reviews)

This 76-room hotel amid Cannaregio District is situated 50 meters from the Church of the Holy Apostles and 200 meters from …

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Hotel Canal Grande
Hotel Canal Grande

Santa Croce 932, Venice 30135

4.0 out of 5.0
4.8 out of 5 (872 reviews)

Located in Santa Croce, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Scalzi Bridge and St. Mary of the Friars. Rialto Bridge an …

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Hotel Torino
Hotel Torino

Calle delle Ostreghe, Venice 30124

3.0 out of 5.0
3.8 out of 5 (639 reviews)

Located in San Marco, this hotel is steps from Santa Maria del Giglio and Basilica of St Mary of Health. St. Mark's Basilic …

£94

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Pocket Guide: Venice

Venice is known by a number of nicknames: the city of water, the city of bridges, queen of the Adriatic, and the city of light. This range of names points to the difficulty of trying to capture the intangible quality of this most unique of cities. Indeed, Venice has been performing something of a magic trick for well over a millennia: built on 118 tiny islands, with a marshy lagoon as its base, the city has managed to defy gravity for more than a thousand years.

Classic highlights

Even if you haven't visited Venice, you've probably already seen images of its classic highlights: gondolas on the Grand Canal, the gothic Doge's Palace's Palace, and the pigeons on St. Mark's Square. You can rest assured that the reality of these places is every bit as majestic as the postcard pictures make them out to be.

More than just a series of famous snapshots, however, Venice is a mesmerizing, mysterious city laced with hints of melancholy. Once a major maritime power, Venice continues to survive largely because of the tourist trade, with the number of actual residents dwindling year after year. Ever-increasing flooding wreaks havoc on architecture, while the summer's heat can make the city feel almost swamp-like. Decadent palaces stand next to decaying houses, glorious restoration next to gloomy ruin, making the city nothing short of a floating museum - but in many ways this is also its barrier to modernization.

Mix of contrasts

This profound mix of contrasts makes Venice a fascinating destination. As it struggles to find a balance between preserving the rich cultural heritage on which it depends and carving out an identity as a still-living city in the 21st century, Venice remains one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

Just like in country’s capital of Rome, the reputations of the signature tourist 'musts' are well-deserved, but the discoveries you make by getting lost in Venice's winding streets and canals are equally rewarding. Exploring your extraordinary surroundings is sure to make you sigh in disbelief. One of Venice's most famous bridges, in fact - just one of over 400 bridges connecting Venice's islands - is called the Bridge of Sighs.

Artists' inspiration

Even the light in Venice is different; the reflection off the water has provided inspiration for many artists. The Accademia Gallery holds several Venetian masterpieces, and you'll notice the play of light in many of its painting. The unusual light is far from being the city's only special quality. Visit during Carnevale and you'll see a glamour you thought no longer existed. Also well worth a visit is Venice Biennale, Europe's classiest international forum for contemporary art.

Cars aren't allowed in Venice, so you'll get to know the city by walking or riding vaporetti (public water buses - an alternative to the more expensive water taxis or gondolas, although it's worth splashing for a romantic evening out). Venice is notoriously crowded (and expensive), but people come for good reason. There is no other city like it in the world - its culture and canals, basilicas and bridges continue to leave visitors marveling. Despite its uncertain future, Venice hasn't lost its magic.

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